The Luyas: Animator
The Luyas: Animator — The Luyas‘ most recent release Animator is a wriggling, crawling life form, molting and mending and morphing right before your eyes. Tapping into the strength of their previous musical ventures (Too Beautiful to Work, 2011 and Faker Death, 2007), The Luyas have truly marked their own niche. It is a strangely past, present, and future sound lovingly braiding warm horns with silky strings, mellow zither, and cool keyboard all together. Each track flows with a gentle nature, feeding back into that central theme of life, liveliness, as title Animator suggests. Well, the Luyas have most certainly proven their skill as musical animators. Initial track ‘Montuno’ rolls out a purely instrumental tapestry before the later arrival lyrics. A superb opening track, ‘Montuna’ sounds like a musical forest awakening. If there are indie rock faeries, surely The Luyas have made them into something more adult, lush, and complex. Following comes what I suspect would be their ideal and driving single, ‘Fifty/Fifty’. This song eats its way into your ear with poppy beats without losing the album’s ethereal quality. It’s a perfect single for two reasons: 1. it does not meander as the album as a slight tendency to do; the track is driven by by drums and grinding guitar at its core, 2. this mixed with vocalist Jessica Stein’s breathy, haunting voice, as well as equally haunting lyrics make for a strange, but infectious mix today’s radio is in desperate need of.
Speaking of Stein’s vocals, I must jump to the closing track of Animator to highlight the power this lady’s voice has over me. Ending the album is ‘Channeling’, with its a heartbeat drum and light synthesizer melody. But what’s truly astounding about this finale is its childlike sound. Stein’s voice is utter perfection. It drips with a youthful sadness, crisp and light at the same time. She sounds green, like a sprout or sapling, it’s heartbreaking and renewing at the same time. This follows the instrumental track ‘Crime Machine’, with its unnerving and pure pulsation. Time slows and distorts as the album slows. Similarly, ‘Traces’ towards the second half of the album, is an equally compelling listen. It sounds as if The Luyas broke open some ancient and magical spring and let it flow into their studio, reverberating against walls, especially that opening waver.
That waver is the life beat of the entire effort. It’s alive and always will be, there’s no bringing back. It reminds me of those science lessons of yore, the rule of conservation: energy is neither created or destroyed. It simply goes and goes… 9.5/10